The Injury Report: ACLR Within 3 Weeks Does Not Increase Stiffness and ComplicationsJun 26, 2022
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Within 3 Weeks Does Not Increase Stiffness and Complications Compared with Delayed Reconstruction: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
Source: The American Journal of Sports Medicine, first published August 5, 2019
Clinical Question: Does early versus delayed treatment of ACL tears result in a different outcome?
Bottom Line: This meta-analysis did NOT confirm the previously advocated benefits of delaying ACL surgery to avoid the acute post-traumatic phase.
Points to Consider: 8 studies were analyzed. When comparing early versus late timing of ACLR, there were NO differences found in terms of passive ROM, risk of complications, ROM limitations (ex. flexion contracture), risk of retears and residual laxity either in the 3-week cutoff analysis or in the 10-week cutoff analysis (P > .05).
Takeaway: The RCTs revealed timing of surgery did not influence final functional outcome, risk of retear or residual instability.